Friday, July 17, 2009

wisdom from elders

I just got back from a work conference- last year it was in Oregon- which that in itself was great- this year it was in a tiny little BC town. the conference is about computers and Merritt is a depressed and depressing little place, but the school that hosted the event was amazing! the campus is stunning and the atmosphere there was like nothing I have experienced. it is a First Nations school and they really embrace community, tradition, family, history and culture. the Elders even have their own office- so picture a crew of little old ladies and men hanging out at your university. different. the elders put on a welcome feast for us including smoked salmon(smoked right there in a outdoor pit behind the school), moose stew, roast deer, bannock, soap berry juice. as well as drumming, dancing and prayers. one of my workshops was making a cedar bark bracelet with an Elder.

there was also a workshop with an Elder "how to survive in the wilderness", how to make a fire, what to do if you get lost it was funny as he showed us how to make a fire, and then that was about it. one of the big city ladies said what about the other stuff? his answers:

How to survive in the wilderness?: make a fire
What to do if you get lost?: make a fire